Witchita State came into tonight’s game against Uconn with one goal, stop or at least contain a Mr. Kemba Walker. Walker had just come off a 42 point, 8 rebound effort against Vermont. Prior to this evening, most figured if Walker were to get into foul trouble or spend an extended period of time on the sideline that the Huskies would falter. The Shockers (Witchita St) were able to get Walker into foul trouble early in the first half, that forced upperclassman Donnell Beverly into the starting PG spot. Walker only attempted 2 shots resulting in just 2 points before getting called for foul number two. Beverly was largely ineffective as he wasn’t able to penetrate and distribute as Walker was able to do rather easily. In came Shabazz Napier to run the show, and he was able to inject some life back into Uconn’s offense. With Walker and Beverly on the bench the Huskies had an extremely inexperienced lineup on the floor!! The line up that held down the fort for the Huskies was 4 freshman and a sophomore. Calhoun’s young players didn’t even blink, they rolled up their sleeves and played tough defense and attacked the basket relentlessly. Roscoe Smith hit a 3 of the glass from the top of the key to end the first half and give the Huskies a 1 point lead. The Shockers were unable to take advantage of the young Huskies in Walker’s absence. The Shockers came out firing in the 2nd half and pushed the lead to 9 before Walker and Uconn stormed back to win the game. Walker had 29 second half points (Walker had 31 for the game), he hit 14-15 free throws, and hit a couple BIG mid-range shots down the stretch. Even with Walker’s stellar play, what I walked away impressed by was the contributions of the freshmen. Uconn will get tougher to deal with as the year goes on as these younger players become more confident. Outside of Walker and Alex Oriahki (12 points) finishing in double figures, the only 2 other players with double figures were 2 of the “big 3″ of the freshman class. Roscoe Smith and Shabazz Napier finished with 10 points a piece, Smith didn’t miss a shot and Napier got to the line 10 times.
Next up is Tom Izzo and Michigan State, obviously Michigan St. is to be favored heavily due to the difference in ranking. Michigan St. being ranked 2nd in the nation while Uconn is still unranked, but that’s just on paper. Do I believe Uconn is talented enough to upset Michigan St.?? You bet! Do I believe Michigan St. is going to make it easy?? Of course not!! This will be a match up between 2 tough teams coached by 2 tough coaches who have the ability to WILL their teams to victory. Michigan State does have the advantage in experience, although I honestly believe that Uconn is equally as talented if not more. Either way I look forward to watching Izzo and Calhoun coach against each other, it WILL be a hard nosed physical game. I can’t wait for 7 pm!! Is Uconn ready to compete with a team as good as Michigan State?? Will it be a close game or a blow out??
About the Author
Written by Wilson Tarpeh Jr.
I am a passionate sports fan, who desires a job in the sports industry. I'm a graduate of the Connecticut School of Broadcasting and I have my own website as well. I believe that I have a unique view of sports and I wish to share it with as many people as I can. I hope you enjoy my work.